Most Romans believed that their system of government was the finest political invention of the human mind. Change was inconceivable. Indeed, the constitution's various parts were so mutually interdependent that reform within the rules was next to impossible. As a result, radicals found that they had little choice other than to set themselves beyond and against the law. This inflexibility had disastrous consequences as it became increasingly clear that the Roman state was incapable of responding adequately to the challenges it faced. Political debate became polarized into bitter conflicts, with radical outsiders trying to press change on conservative insiders who, in the teeth of all the evidence, believed that all was for the best under the best of all possible constitutions.
― Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome's Greatest Politician